Do dry days get you down? Here’s news to cheer you up. The state government has allowed three, four and five-star hotels permission to serve alcohol even on no-alcohol days. The notification was issued in September last year, but it has been implemented only recently.
The sub-clause in the gazette notification that offered the concession to the premium hotels was noticed by the excise department only recently. The luxury hotels have been offered this privilege because of the seven per cent luxury tax they pay the government.
The hoteliers are, obviously, popping the champagne. “This is indeed good news after a long time. The traffic police’s campaign against drunken driving has hit us hard. This should bring in some revenue,” said Narendra Iyer from Juhu’s Ramee Guestline Hotel.
Vishal Singh, general manager, Taj President, Colaba, chose to stick to the earlier rule despite being aware of the notification. “We were waiting for an official communication,” said Singh.
Guzzlers fear that the hotels may misuse the privilege since they will have exclusive rights to sell alcohol on dry days.
“Their charges are already high. They will increase on dry days, I am sure, just as they charge us extra to celebrate New Year’s Eve,” said Gurpreet Singh, who feels all bars, irrespective of their grades, should be allowed to sell alcohol on dry days.
Excise Inspector from Bandra, B K Jadhav, confirmed sending out circulars to the hotels. “We received an intimation a week ago and we have informed hotels in our area to collect the circular and the gazette copy. The order is applicable all over the state,” he said.